Thanksgiving Around the World

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By Jessica Sullivan

The eating season….errrr…holiday season is upon us and to really “kick it off” in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. Many people celebrate Thanksgiving in different ways. In my family, every other year we go to my uncle’s farm and spend the day eating, catching up with family, and watching sports. The smell of pumpkin pie fills the air!

Within the United States, Thanksgiving can be attributed to several different events. The first “Thanksgiving” is considered the first harvest celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. There was a mixture of Pilgrims as well as Native Americans in attendance, and the purpose was to celebrate a productive growing season. However, Thanksgiving was not a national holiday until 1863. President Abraham Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving and prayer on the last Thursday in November, and it has been celebrated by the United States ever since.

Many may not know, however, that Thanksgiving is not something that is just celebrated in the United States. Many other countries and cultures celebrate their own version of Thanksgiving in various ways. It is important that we take a look at other countries celebrations in order to learn more about them and grow a sense of respect and understanding.

In China, Thanksgiving can be equated with the August Moon Festival. This is considered the time when the moon is the roundest and brightest, and people use this time to celebrate the way they feel about one another. The virtues of warmth and compassion, commonly associated with women, are honored at this time.

Cerelia is a festival in Rome that takes place on October 4th. This honors the Goddess of Ceres who was the goddess of corn. As is tradition, fruits, grains and animals are gifted to the goddess and celebrations take place in forms of music, parades, and sporting events.

On August 15th, Korea celebrates Chu-Sok which means “fall evening.” This event continues for three days and includes a traditional meal called Songpyon. As is customary, before the food is consumed, the family gathers to remember those gone before them.

Though this definitely does not encompass all of the Thanksgiving customs around the world, this allows you to get a glimpse of other cultures traditions. Isn’t it interesting that each culture tends to have a day of thanks and giving back?

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? We all have different customs and traditions, but that’s what makes us all unique.

Hopefully for all of you, Thanksgiving will kick off a wonderful holiday season!

“Thanksgiving Around The World.” Around The World Thanksgiving. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

“Thanksgiving (United States).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

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